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Investigation into death of 12-year-old continues

Aug. 08, 2014 9:08 p.m. | UPDATE: Girl's death not caused by vaccination, medical examiner says

Waukesha police are continuing their investigation into the death of a 12-year-old girl whose mother found her unresponsive in their home.

"There is no indication of wrongdoing, but the cause of death has not been determined," Waukesha Capt. Ron Oremus said Friday. "That is something we rely on the medical examiner's office to do. Until that determination is made, we won't close the case."

Rebecca Prohaska believes her daughter Meredith may have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine for human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, which she said was given at a physician's office around 10:30 a.m. on July 30, less than six hours before the girl died.

Oremus said the mother's belief that the vaccine is to blame is speculation.

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Waukesha police report: July 7, 2016 issue

7:09 p.m. | 1An unidentified person or persons started a fire in a public bathroom in the 600 block of North Hartwell Avenue. Police took pictures of the damage around 8:12 a.m. June 25. No suspects or leads were mentioned in the report.

2A man was bleeding from the back of his head following a collision between and car and bicycle around 8:34 a.m. June 25 near the post office, 300 E. Broadway St. The report did not specify whether the injured man was riding the bike or driving the car.

3A Waukesha man threatened to hurt his former landlord if the landlord didn't return the man's security deposit three months after the man moved out. The landlord told police the man gestured to the landlord with his middle finger then shouted at him from his car around 9:58 a.m. June 25 outside a home in the 100 block of Central Avenue.

4A woman locked herself and her boyfriend in a room inside a Cambridge Avenue apartment after the man reportedly grabbed a butcher knife and threatened to use it against someone. According to a police report, officers arrived at the apartment in the 100 block of Cambridge around 10:41 a.m. June 25. There were children in the home, the report said, and the man eventually put the knife back.

5Police caught a couple having sex in broad daylight by the baseball field near St. Mary's Catholic School, 520 E. Hartwell Ave. According to a police report, an anonymous caller reported the incident around 11:42 a.m. June 25. Officers found the couple near the third base line, the report said.

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Main Street says bye-bye to barricades in downtown Waukesha

10:45 a.m. | Motorists and residents were greeted with an unfamiliar site downtown: No orange-and-white barricades and barrels.

The traffic barricades along Main Street, which has been closed and under construction since late February, were gone Wednesday afternoon, June 29. Soon afterward, the roadway was again rumbling with traffic and lined with parked cars.

The $2.5 million project entailed the reconstruction of Main Street as well the replacement of the water main, rehabilitation of the sanitary sewer line and storm sewer utilities and the widening of sidewalk terraces.

The city also bolstered the downtown streetscape aesthetics by installing decorative bricks in the terrace and adding 18 trees to pedestrian walkways, city staff said.

Reason to celebrate

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Waukesha woman convicted of stealing from Oconomowoc company to fund drug habit

10:30 a.m. | A town of Waukesha woman will spend nine months in jail after she was recently found guilty of stealing and selling roughly $13,000 of merchandise from an Oconomowoc store and using the money to fund her drug addiction.

Brianna Pacetti, 24, pleaded no contest in May to felony theft of movable property, according to court records. She was sentenced June 29 in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

Judge Michael Maxwell, who presided over the hearing, sentenced Pacetti to nine months in jail — three months of "straight time" and six months with work-release privileges — as a condition of her probation.

Maxwell imposed but stayed a 38-month prison term for Pacetti in favor of three years of probation, including the jail term.

Pacetti and 25-year-old Tyler Lewein of Ixonia were accused last October of stealing and selling various merchandise worth a combined total of $13,664.81 from the La Belle Co. and using the money to buy heroin and pay their rent.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: A look ahead to US Open 2017, look back at Champions Tour event in Madison

June 29, 2016 2:00 p.m. | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel sports columnist and golf writer Gary D'Amato stops by to chat about the next U.S. Open, to be hosted at Erin Hills Golf Course in Erin, Wisconsin. He also talks a little Bucks draft, and JP and JR focus on the selection of Thon Maker and the landing spots for former Wisconsin prep products Henry Ellenson and Diamond Stone. Plus, JP reports back from the inaugural PGA Tour Champions event, the American Family Insurance Championship, in Madison and the Kohler Grand Prix IndyCar race at Elkhart Lake. Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area preps. Find the podcast on Stitcher and iTunes.

Waukesha Meijer supercenter to open Aug. 2

June 28, 2016 4:36 p.m. | Another piece of the redevelopment of Sunset Drive will soon be falling into place.

Waukesha's Meijer supercenter, a 192,000-sqaure foot store at Tenny Avenue and East Sunset Drive, which has been in development for almost three years, will open Aug. 2. The 2,500-square foot Meijer gas station on the property will officially open Thursday, July 7.

The store will be open 24 hours a day.

Meijer leadership and local officials will dedicate the store's first day of business with a ribbon cutting ceremony, and special sales and promotions marking the opening of the store will kick off Aug. 4, said Katharine Braunschweiger, an assistant account executive at Mueller Communications, Inc., a Milwaukee-based public relations firm.

"Right now, they're putting the finishing details on the interior and exterior," Braunschweiger said. "It's a long process."

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Waukesha West's Jarred Kelenic makes cut for Team USA U18 baseball team

June 28, 2016 2:35 p.m. | The players stood in center field of the Team USA training complex in Cary, North Carolina, and listened for their name. It would qualify as a scene out of the "Hunger Games" series if the characters had been equipped with spikes and a leather glove.

"They brought all 108 of us out there to center field, and we all stood there and listened to the loudspeaker," said Waukesha West incoming junior Jarred Kelenic, 16. "They called our names, one by one. It was pretty nerve-racking.

"The way I did this week, I thought I had a good shot going in, but I was talking to my host dad about it," Kelenic added. "He said, 'Just expect the worst and hope for the best.' I was ready for anything that was going to come at me."

It turned out to be the best. Kelenic was one of 40 choices for the USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials, impressing scouts enough after play in 12 games and two scouting days at the 2016 "Tournament of Stars." Kelenic, a pitcher and outfielder who has played with traveling club teams in Racine and Chicago, now eyes the Sept. 11-15 trials in Houston, Texas, where he can become one of 20 to make the team that will play in the CPABE Pan Am Championships in Monterrey, Mexico, from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2.

Kelenic said he was one of four choices for the trials who have two years of high school eligibility remaining, while the rest are rising seniors. Playing with older kids has never been a problem.

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Complaint: Waukesha veteran, upset by fireworks, fired rifle into air

June 28, 2016 10:05 a.m. | Gregory Habersat, a combat veteran, loaded a rifle and fired six shots in the air Friday, June 24, outside his Newhall Avenue apartment, where police later found him laying under his truck with his rifle nearby, according to a criminal complaint.

Habersat, 30, of Waukesha told officers a fireworks barrage that night had spooked him and he was "freaking out" like he was back in Afghanistan, the complaint said.

Habersat was charged Monday, June 27, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with three misdemeanor offenses: possession of a firearm while intoxicated, pointing a firearm at a person and discharging a firearm within 100 yards of a building.

According to the complaint, Habersat suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and had been drinking the night of the incident.

Triggering bad memories

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Woman fined for bringing marijuana to Waukesha court proceeding

June 28, 2016 9:00 a.m. | Shakendra Thomas came to Waukesha County Circuit Court in February with an important responsibility: to testify on behalf of the state in Darrin Malone's murder trial, which was linked to a local gas station homicide.

What she left with, more than four months later, was an $800 fine.

That's because Thomas, 22, was arrested on an open warrant shortly after she left the witness stand Feb. 15 and was carrying marijuana. She pleaded guilty to an amended misdemeanor charge of possession of THC earlier this month, according to online court records.

On June 20, Judge Lee Dreyfus ordered Thomas to pay an $804.05 fine as punishment for the offense. Court records indicate Thomas has until Dec. 15 to come up with the money or provide the court with proof that she has completed 50 hours of community service.

If she doesn't pay or complete the work, she'll have to spend 20 days in jail with work-release privileges, Dreyfus ruled.

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What's next for water: Officials discuss aspects of Waukesha's plan

June 27, 2016 9:02 p.m. | It won't be easy, or cheap, to get Lake Michigan water flowing through Waukesha's water mains and into residents' homes, state and local officials have said.

But that water will come.

Speaking at a press conference June 22, Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, state Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp and County Executive Paul Farrow addressed the next steps in the water diversion process and what residents can expect.

The conference was held one day after an unprecedented vote that granted the city what it has been seeking for more than a decade: a new water supply.

In short, officials said it will be years before residents are drinking Lake Michigan water out of their faucets. And Waukesha's at least $200 million plan to buy water from the city of Oak Creek, build one set of pipelines and pumping stations to divert the water to Waukesha and a second set to return an equal volume of water as fully treated wastewater will result in substantial rate hikes for local water utility customers.

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Summer food service program begins at Waukesha schools

June 27, 2016 5:42 p.m. | The Waukesha School District will be serving up food all summer long.

The district recently announced the sponsorship of the Summer Food Service Program, stressing the importance of offering nutritious meals to children during the summer months.

The Summer Food Service Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, provides nutritious meals to children during the summer, when free and reduced-price school meals are typically unavailable.

It makes free meals available to children who are 18 or under. Those over 18 years of age who are determined by a state or local public educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who also participate in a public or private non-profit school program during the regular school year are also eligible to receive free meals.

"This program fills a void created when school lunches are not available," said Brian Mand, general manager of Aramark, the district's new food service provider. "Helping parents meet the nutritional needs of their children is the strength of this program."

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Waukesha Plan Commission doesn't bite at proposed doggy day care, cites noise concerns

June 27, 2016 2:46 p.m. | Dogs just might be man's best friend — except when they're barking.

At least that was the general sentiment from the Waukesha Plan Commission on June 22, when the panel unanimously voted to table discussion on a proposed doggy day care, in a commercial/industrial area off Sunset Drive, after several commissioners voiced concerns about how the steady din of barking dogs would affect a nearby residential neighborhood.

The vote means the business will be discussed again at an upcoming commission meeting. The next plan commission meeting is scheduled for July 13, but an agenda for that meeting has not been set as of Monday afternoon, June 27.

Pups in 'Paradise'

Owner Lindsey Chiaverotti proposed to house the business, dubbed Doggy Paradise, in the front end of an industrial building at 2510 W. Sunset Drive.

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Waukesha police report: June 30, 2016 issue

June 27, 2016 10:10 a.m. | 1Staff at the Waukesha branch of Wisconsin Community Services, 414 W. Moreland Blvd., reported around 8:47 a.m. June 17 that a man at their facility — with a record of prior drunken driving offenses but who was free on bond — was driving with a prohibited blood-alcohol concentration. Police took the man into custody and called HAWS to remove a dog from the man's car.

2A resident in the 1300 block of Fleetfoot Drive told police around 11:10 a.m. June 17 that someone had scratched her car and dumped sugar all over it. According to a police report, the woman said she believes she knows who did it.

3An anonymous caller told police a man flashed a revolver after the caller did not allow the man to merge his car in front of the caller's around 1:49 p.m. June 17 near Roberts and East North streets. The man did not additionally threaten or follow the caller, according to a police report.

4A man told police he was being "sarcastic" when he told a social worker he had hidden a gun in a Waukesha park and was thinking about using it to kill himself around 3:23 p.m. June 17. The man, a resident in the 1500 block of Summit Avenue, said in a police report he told the social worker he had a hidden gun because the social worker "was annoying him." Officers searched the man's home and found no evidence that he owned a gun, the report said.

5 A resident in the 2400 block of Springdale Road told police she was missing 15 hydrocodone pills after contractors completed some work in her apartment around 5:30 p.m. June 17. A police report did not indicate whether any of the contractors were suspected of the theft.

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Carroll's new Lowry Hall gets final OK from Waukesha Plan Commission

June 24, 2016 11:54 a.m. | One building down, another to go.

That seems to be the attitude at Carroll University, where construction on the college's new science center is nearing completion while the school prepares for the impending demolition — and eventual replacement — of Lowry Hall.

All that planning and work passed another milestone June 22, when Waukesha's Plan Commission unanimously granted final approval to the site and architectural plans for the project, a three-floor, 36,000-square-foot nursing center.

Construction on the new Lowry Hall is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, said Carroll's senior Public Relations Strategist Jess Owens.

That building and the nearly complete science center, at the corner of North Barstow Street and West College Avenue, are a part of Carroll's three-phase, multi-year, $50 million campaign to improve its science facilities.

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Waukesha native's Smart Program Training targets dementia progression

June 23, 2016 3:11 p.m. | Dr. John DenBoer came home on a mission.

DenBoer, a Waukesha native, has developed a system of cognitive exercises that help prevent or slow the rate of dementia. That system was the subject of his presentation at Avalon Square Senior Living home in downtown Waukesha on Friday, June 24.

The Avalon is a special place for DenBoer, whose grandmother lived there for the last 20 years of her life and where he spent a lot of time as a young boy. He began his presentation with a dedication to her.

"In a lot of different ways we're celebrating her today," he said during the presentation. "She was a really special figure in my life."

New-and-novel approach

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OwnersEdge gives Green Bay business owner an alternative to selling

June 22, 2016 4:33 p.m. | For five days, Steve Elias didn't even open the unsolicited acquisition offer.

Although he wanted to sell his three Green Bay businesses, Elias worried about how a new owner — particularly one looking to consolidate within the industry — might treat his 70 employees. So instead of responding to the sender, Elias remembered a presentation he had heard several years earlier and picked up the phone.

Six months later, Elias is still running his companies, but they've been sold to OwnersEdge Inc., a Brookfield-based employee stock ownership plan holding company that is looking to invest in and build companies in the Midwest.

The presentation Elias remembered was made by Lisa Reardon, president, chief executive officer and chairwoman of OwnersEdge. Reardon had talked about business owners' succession planning, and about how her company sought diversification through acquisitions of companies with leaders such as Elias who want to continue running their businesses.

"Quite honestly, nothing's really changed for me," said Elias, president of Baycom Inc., a provider of wireless voice, mobile data and video equipment to public safety and commercial clients.

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